North Finchley Town Team welcome £70,000 grant

Times Series: Darren Shea chair of the town team with Alice Cicolini outside the disused units and the Grand Arcade. Darren Shea chair of the town team with Alice Cicolini outside the disused units and the Grand Arcade.

Members of a team set up to help regenerate North Finchley town centre are celebrating as their plans to create a “community hub” move a step closer to becoming a reality.

North Finchley Town Team has been awarded up to £70,000 to spend on reopening three vacant units in the Grand Arcade for public use.

They plan to create studios, workshop spaces and hot desks for everyone in the community to use, from budding entrepreneurs and artists to campaigners and councillors.

Chairman of the town team, Darren Shea, said: “We’re delighted with the funding – it shows the belief people have in the town team, and it’s very exciting.

“We want to create a hub where people can engage with each other and use it for whatever they want whether it’s for youth clubs, yoga or for giving mental health advice.

“It will be a place people can work on their own projects, but also give something back to the community. For example, if you’re a business person who wants to use the facilities, we’ll ask you to perhaps chat to students who are interested in running a business of their own.”

The grant was awarded as part of the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund, and was signed off to the town team by Barnet’s Cabinet Resources Committee.

Barnet secured a total of £1,074,060 for North Finchley town centre to pay for improvements to the area, which it must spend by 31 March next year.

Mr Shea added: “There’s a final few tick boxes that need to be done before we start getting to work, but it’s all looking good for the New Year. We’re really pleased that the grant has been allowed and it’ll be great for the community.”

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